April 1, 2011 — The University of Virginia's Last Lecture series, which allows some of the University's most distinguished and lauded professors to speak to students as though it were their last opportunity to do so, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Tuesday.
The 2011 lectures will feature anthropology professor Richard Handler and politics professor Robert Fatton, both from the College of Arts & Sciences.
Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students-Residence Life, this year's event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall auditorium. Each speech will last approximately 30 minutes, with a reception to follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Handler has titled his speech "Undergoing a Vivisection Without an Anesthetic: What Is Critical Thinking?"
He earned his B.A. from Columbia University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1979. He has carried out anthropological fieldwork in Quebec and Virginia, and has written several books and articles on such topics as nationalism, cultural politics, and anthropology and literature.
Handler has taught at U.Va since 1986. He is not only a professor of anthropology, but also the director of the program in global development studies. He has taught many lecture courses at U.Va., but is best known for "Introduction to Anthropology" and a higher-level course, "Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism."
Fatton plans to discuss globalization and its contradictions. In particular, he intends to examine how globalization encourages economic growth, yet fuels inequalities and conflicts.
He was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Now an American citizen, Fatton studied in the mid-1970s in France, and earned a bachelor's degree from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1976. He holds both master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
Fatton is associate dean for graduate programs in Arts & Sciences, and is also the Julia A. Cooper Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs. He has taught at U.Va since 1981.
Fatton has published extensively on the political climate in South Africa, Senegal and his native Haiti.